You know in the movies where there is a relationship that fails but one of the people involved continues to cling on, in hopes that maybe they could salvage something. It’s usually the guy and he usually has no way of fixing things or proving that he can make it work. Right now the NFL is that guy.
CNBC just tweeted that the U.S. Appeals Court reinstated Tom Brady’s 4-game suspension in relation to his involvement in Deflategate. You remember Deflategate, the only thing ESPN could talk about last summer where the New England Patriots were accused of cheating en route to a Super Bowl victory.
Just when we all thought it was finally coming to a close with the NFL Draft coming up. It would definitely be talked about as the Patriots forfeited their first round pick in the upcoming draft due to the allegations of Deflategate. After that, it seemed like we could all put it behind us. Clearly, that isn’t happening.
I have a feeling that the Patriots are not going to stand for this decision, and rightfully so. Because this, according to ESPN, was the ruling from the U.S. 2nd Circuit Appeals Court.
“We hold that the Commissioner properly exercised his broad discretion under the collective bargaining agreement and that his procedural rulings were properly grounded in that agreement and did not deprive Brady of fundamental fairness.”
Well there you go. This all traces back to the one man that is single-handedly ruining the NFL. Roger Goodell once again wields his unchecked and disproportionate power.
What this means is not that Brady was guilty or that the NFL found some new evidence. It just means that Goodell has the power to do this. And that is a problem.
I’ve been saying for years that Roger Goodell needs to be replaced atop the NFL’s hierarchy. (I’ve also been saying the league needs to change its player discipline process since July). He is unreasonable and has let his power go to his head. However, this also shines a light on an organizational issue for the NFL.
The fact is, the court is right. Goodell has the power to make these kinds of sweeping, grandiose decisions. That needs to change. There has been talk for some time about the league taking the power of player punishment out of the commissioner’s hands and delegating it to a third party. That way, the league could avoid situations like this and the commissioner could focus more on the future endeavors of the league, rather than how much he can fine James Harrison in a given season.
So yes, Goodell still needs to go. If you need examples, see Rice, Ray or Hardy, Greg. Either one will demonstrate why Goodell is not fit to be running the league. But this is also an institutional problem, where the NFL has given one man entirely too much power. It is similar to FIFA with Sepp Blatter in the way that the NFL as an institution is thought of as solely Goodell. (For a fun article about those two clowns, click here).
As for Brady’s situation, did he cooperate as needed? Probably not. Does the NFL have the evidence necessary to suspend him for four games? Definitely not. At most, Brady should receive a fine for disorderly conduct. And then that should be the end of it. There is no reason that Jimmy Garappolo should be playing the first quarter of the season for New England.
Unfortunately, it seems like this nightmare just restarted. Only time will tell if this new ruling holds up. Maybe some good will come out of this. Maybe the league will finally realize the flaws in how it lets Goodell govern and begin limit his power. Fingers crossed on that one.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Chris McGlynn